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POL3054 : Cities and World Politics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Matt Davies
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


Conventional theories of international relations tend to define the space for politics as within the territorial national state and the state as the important agent international relations. Critiques of conventional theories highlight the important spaces and agents that this narrow conception excludes. This module takes up this critique by exploring the role that cities and urbanization play in shaping world politics and the international agents and forces shaping urbanism. The module aims to enable students to explain contemporary urban politics outside the limits of methodological nationalism and international relations from the perspective of the prospects of transversal forms of politics.

Outline Of Syllabus

The themes of lectures are likely to vary from year to year depending on circumstances. Likely themes to be covered include:
•       International politics and the problem of sovereignty
•       Urbanization and capitalist development
•       Rhythmanalysis
•       The “right to the city” and wrongs of the city
•       Gentrification
•       Finacial networks and urbanization
•       “Global cities”
•       Olympic cities
•       Arts and urbanism
•       Logistics, transport, and global value chains
•       Urban security and urbicide
•       Migration
•       Sustainable urbanism

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1140:00140:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Present in person lectures
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities51:005:00Quizzes; guided tasks
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities112:0022:00Annotated/guided reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Present in person seminars
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will present students with analyses of contemporary and historical processes of urbanism in relation to world politics and critiques of scholarship on these phenomena (learning outcomes 1, 2, and 5). For seminars, students will prepare presentations and written reports implementing knowledge and skills developed in lectures (learning outcomes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7). There will be a workshop or seminar focusing on creative methods or rhythmanalysis for research and analysis of the urban international (learning outcomes 7, 8, and 9). The drop-in surgery will give students an opportunity to consult with the module leader about any questions or problems arising from the writing of their research essays (learning outcome 9). Students’ individual study will be used to complete assigned readings in preparation for lectures; prepare assignments in advance of seminars; prepare a rhythmanalysis of a local urban phenomenon for the method workshop; and research and write a research essay (all learning outcomes).

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2M251000 words maximum
Research paper2M752500 words maximum
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The research proposal will identify a relevant question to be addressed, how rhythmanalysis will be applied to the research problem, what resources will be needed, any ethical questions that may need to be addressed, and an assessment of the time needed to complete the research (learning outcomes 1, 3, 6, 7, and 8).
The research essay will report the findings of the research and analysis, situating the findings in international political contexts (learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, and 9).
Seminar presentations will be varied and will be used formatively so students can self-assess progress across learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and will assist the students in understanding and applying rhythmanalytical methods (learning outcomes 6, 8, and 9). The research essay should demonstrate progress against all learning outcomes.

Reading Lists